This unusual salad is based on dried salted cod, which is cod that has been preserved by salting and drying. This ingredient is used around the Mediterranean and Atlantic, and has been produced in Newfoundland, Iceland, Norway, and the Faroe Islands for more than 500 years. It used to be dried outdoors using the sun and wind, but modern dried cod is dried indoors using electric heaters. It needs to be rehydrated and desalinated before use.
The fish is often served in casseroles with onions and potatoes, or used to make battered croquettes in Europe. In Basilicata, Italy, it is sometimes prepared with peppers. The following recipe combines the fish with leek, almonds and pickles, to make an unusual, piquant and rustic salad. You can feel free to change the ingredients if you want, adding any vegetables you like, such as potatoes or beets, adding some hard-boiled egg slices, or even swapping the almonds for walnuts, adding some shredded cheese, or trying different herbs.
This salad needs to be started a few days in advance, or at least that is when you need to begin preparing the fish, soaking it in water and changing the water a couple times a day. The fish can then be combined with the other ingredients the day before serving the salad, then leave it in the refrigerator overnight so all the flavors can blend nicely. If you are looking for a make-ahead dish, this one is worth considering because it is deliciously different, and the other ingredients showcase the salt cod flavor so well.
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